Dear OP Families, Friends and Teams,

I hope this email finds you doing well. At OP, my spirits are lifted as I've seen more people back to our day services. I wanted to reach out and share with you some of our latest updates related to OP services, health and safety protocols, upcoming events, and employment developments. As always, please reach out to me or our staff at any time - we are always happy to hear from you!

  • We are pleased to have held our first COVID-19 vaccine clinic for staff and some persons we serve residentially. In all, about 200 vaccines were given. We are working with Hennepin County Public Health to provide access to vaccinations for our day, employment and community living staff. For those served by OP who are living in their own or family homes, we encourage you to reach out to your clinic to learn about options and register with the Minnesota Department of Health's Vaccine Connector.

  • We are excited to learn a number of individuals who attend OP day and employment locations have been able to access the vaccine. At this time, even with vaccinations ramping up, we are still required to follow health and safety protocols, including wearing facial coverings and practicing social distancing. People must be able to follow all protocols before returning to services, even if they have received the COVID-19 vaccine or have already recovered from COVID-19.

  • In a concerted effort to keep our air as clean as possible, we've added built-in filtration systems to Asplin Center, the Bren Service Center and Koch Campus, as well as portable filtration units at Karlins Center. We've also added filtration systems to our OP vehicles.

  • We have had no spread of COVID-19 in our day facilities. This is truly thanks to everyone closely following our health guidelines and safety protocols. As a reminder, if you or someone in your home is feeling sick, be sure to stay home. Please follow your medical provider's advice on getting tested and/or isolating if you have been exposed to COVID-19 or have any symptoms. 

  • We are excited to have welcomed 200 people back to day services in person! Our Asplin, Bren, Karlins and Koch Campus locations continue to operate just under 50 percent capacity at this time. We are following all state health guidelines, and are in close contact with our disability trade associations to ensure we are up to date on the latest information. Our transportation providers are still allowing only three riders per van and requiring that all passengers wear masks for the entire ride, which has slowed our ability to bring more people back. As we work through the challenges, we are so grateful for your flexibility and openness to change.

  • Our virtual services are serving about 100 individuals, and continue to be a great option for those who are either not ready to return in person, or want more connection with others who haven't returned.

  • If you are ready to return to services - in-person or virtual - please call 952-930-4202 or email to let us know or have your questions answered.

  • Disability Services Day at the Capitol is Tuesday, March 9! We'll be joining our disability services trade associations in a state-wide virtual rally and urging advocates to connect with their state legislators. Register and learn more.

  • OP's Gala is going virtual! Our largest fundraiser of the year will be held online Thursday, May 13 and everyone is invited to attend for FREE! Presented by UnitedHealth Group, our Gala is an opportunity to celebrate success stories and join together to support OP after a very challenging year! Learn more.

  • Federal employment legislation - we are closely following the Raise the Wage Act, which has been included in President Biden's Rescue America stimulus and recovery plan. The Act seeks to increase the federal minimum wage annually over the next four years and phase out the payment of special minimum wages for workers with disabilities. There are still many unknowns about when and how this legislation will impact people with disabilities who have valued the opportunity to work for wages comparable to their productivity. We will continue to follow and share updates as we learn more.

Thank you to our OP families and friends for remaining so encouraging throughout the uncertainty of the pandemic! And thanks again to our dedicated staff members who have kept everything running smoothly during this time. Please stay well!

Bill Schultz
President & CEO
Opportunity Partners